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Reem's California

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Reem's Story

Reem's California specializes in bringing communities together across cultures, generations, and experience through the experience of Arab bread and hospitality. Our vision is to be an anchor in the community, providing good jobs, particularly those with barriers to employment, delicious nourishing food and healthy dose of social justice.

In 2010, the dream of Reem's was born at the doorstep of a street corner bakery in Beirut, Lebanon. It was in watching the bread flying out of the oven, literally into hungry people's hands, and witnessing the life inside those bakery doors despite the political turbulence outside of them. Having lived in Oakland for over 15 years, I felt we were missing those kind of sanctuary spaces, especially in these politically turbulent times. I wanted to create a space where people- particularly those most marginalized in society- felt safe, connected, and nourished.

Seven years later, Reem's has become a go-to for Arab street food through our farmers markets across the Bay Area and a bakery & restaurant in Oakland, exposing many people to the richness of Arab culture and history and challenging negative stereotypes perpetuated by xenophobia and racism in this country. Being an Arab woman and Palestinian-Syrian woman committed to social justice has presented challenges, in an era where Arabs and Muslims face violence and racism. But I am proud to have made a name for Arabs, immigrants and women of color in the food industry. With the support of our community we have been able to meet the challenges of and popularize the concept of Arab street food. Reem's has been recognized nationally in multiple publications as a go-to restaurant, from Bon Appetit to the New York Times, I've been recognized as a Rising Star Chef by the SF Chronicle, and we've been featured in multiple high-caliber events.

What is the purpose of this loan?

Thanks to the Kiva community and many supporters, Reem's successfully opened a brick & mortar operation in Oakland CA in May 2017. While our initial investment successfully transformed the space into a beautiful community hub, the start up costs left us little room to expand our team and take advantage of opportunities to grow and expand. This loan is essential for taking Reem's operations to the next level by giving us working capital needed to fully staff a bakery operation that can open longer and more often in order to serve more people in the Bay Area and help us realize our full revenue potential. We expect that with a more fully staffed operation, we will more than double our revenue to $1.2 million by the end of 2018.

Staying true to our mission to be a long-term anchor establishment and job generator, we need to grow our team and leadership, expand to wholesale of pita breads, and add more markets to our operation. Specifically, the loan would help us with the following: -Permitting for Wholesale Operations ($2,000) -Equipment and Inventory for Expansion - portable griddles, tents and packaging for wholesale ($3,000) -Working Capital to hire and train additional staff incl. a manager ($20,000)

Reem is living the Zander Creatives way so we are helping fund a part of Stacy's dream through www.kiva.org 

Here is Stacy Cole Design's for you to go and check out and support: reemscalifornia.com

Curious how you can get funded by us as well? Click here or send us a email to find out :-)

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